Part of a city-wide public market system, Eastern Market was built in order to provide a convenient supply of goods to Capitol Hill residents. It acted as an anchor to the Capitol Hill neighborhood; its presence helped to both retain and attract neighborhood residents.
Additionally, Eastern market was a symbol of urbanization, as Washington DC worked to remove the sleepy southern town image it had since the founding of the Federal city.
Our Eastern Market Food Tour will give you an inside look at the legendary market. You will have the opportunity to meet the long standing vendors and taste their specialties which include a variety of local products produced and grown within the Washington DC area.
Your Food Tour may include the following specialties:
- Homeade Kimchi, and bulgogi
- Locally grown fruits
- Artisan Breads
- Local, Regional and International Cheeses
- Homemade turkey jerky
- DC's Original Half Smoke
- Hand rolled stuffed grape leaves
- Eastern European Desserts
All dishes served are included in the tour. Enough food is served that for most participants, dinner afterwards will not be needed.
What Is Not Included?
- Do I have to purchase tickets in advance? Can I pay cash?
- Tickets must be purchased in advance as tours usually sell out quickly ahead of time. To maximize your chances of getting your desired day, time, and number of tickets, please book well in advance. Tickets can only be purchased with a Visa, AMEX, or Mastercard. Cash is not accepted.
- If a tour is sold out, can I get on a waiting list?
- We do not provide a waiting list. If a date is sold out, there is always a chance that we will add extra spaces or we will add an additional tour. Please contact us by clicking the "Contact DCFoodTours" link to let us know what date you are interested in. We may provide additional tours once a tour is close to being sold out. The maximum number of people per tour group is 12.
- What about taking children on the tour?
- Children are welcome on the tour. It should be noted, however, that the tour is 1.5 hours long. Some children have a limited attention span and therefore the tour may not be appropriate for some of them. Parents, who know their children best, should assess the situation on a case by case basis. Since there is a lot of standing and walking, please consider this when deciding whether the tour is appropriate for your child.
- If I am bringing an infant/very young child, do I need to purchase a ticket for them?
- If you are bringing children below the age of 7 and they will not be participating in the tastings (or will share with you!), you do not need to purchase tickets for them. However, please do let us know if you will be attending with an infant or young child when you purchase tickets.
- What types of foods are served on the tour?
- We will try specialties from the majority of the vendors from eastern market, and vary from vendor to vendor. Some examples will include: DC Half Smokes, Homeade Kimchi, Local fruit, empenadas, baklevah, eastern european desserts, artisan breads, turkey jerkey, french specialties, local and international cheeses.
- How much food is served on the tour?
- We will sample specialties from 7-8 vendors in the Market. For most people there is enough food that dinner afterwards will not be necessary.
- What if I have dietary restrictions?
- Please let us know if anyone in your group has a dietary restriction (e.g. vegetarian, diabetic, etc.) when you purchase your tickets. As long as we know well enough in advance, we can often accommodate your needs. Due to the nature of the market, many of the dishes are not vegetarian. If we do not find out about the special needs until the day of the tour, it is usually not possible for us to appropriately adjust the food on the tour.
- Are there any beverages served on the tour?
- You will receive a bottle of water at the beginning of the food tour.
- Do we just walk around and sample food?
- Absolutely not! Aside from sampling delicious food, you will also experience life as we traverse the streets of Old Town Alexandria. The tour is fully narrated by your guide, who will discuss the history, culture, architecture and entertainment that Old Town has to offer.
- Are bathrooms available during the tour?
- Yes, bathrooms are available during the tour at all restaurants. We will stop at each restaurant for 20-25 minutes, which includes time to use the bathrooms.
- How much walking is involved? Is it a fast-paced tour?
- We are on our feet for the entire tour, since there is nowhere to sit in the market. The tour is not fast paced, and we walk less than a quarter mile total.
- Are tours offered only in English?
- Yes, we only offer tours in English at this time. If you would like to make arrangements for your own interpreter to join the tour, please contact DC Metro Food Tours by clicking on the "Contact DCFoodTours" link.
- Does the tour leader accept gratuities?
- Gratuities are always appreciated, although not mandatory.
- What happens if it rains or snows?
- The tours are held rain or shine. In the event of inclement weather, we will be able to go inside many of the establishments on the tour. We will not be outdoors for the entire tour. You should still dress appropriately for the day's weather conditions.
- Where does the tour finish?
- The tour finishes within three blocks of the starting point. Additionally, each participant will receive specific direction details in order to gain familiarity with the area.
- Are cameras allowed on the tour?
- Yes. Cameras and filming are allowed during the tour. We strongly encourage participants to take photos throughout the tour.
- How many stops will there be?
- We stop at 6-9 stops within the market. We spend about 5-10 minutes at each vendor.
- How much time will be spent inside? How much will be spent outside?
- The majority of the tour will be spent inside Eastern Market. We will start and finish outside of the market.
- Is there wheelchair access on the tour?
- Our tour will cover some uneven terrain. If you or another guest with you needs wheelchair access, please contact the seller in advance. We will work to accomodate you.
- Is there parking nearby the tour meeting point?
- Yes, there is a parking garage located near the meeting point. Specific parking details are included in the meeting location directions after purchasing ticket(s).
- Are gift certificates available for the tour?
- Yes, gift certificates are available for all DC Metro Food Tours and make an ideal gift for birthdays, holidays, or any occasion! To purchase a gift certificate, please click on the "Contact DCFoodTours" link to make a request.
- Can I book a private tour?
- Yes, private tours are available. To learn more about booking a Private Group Tour, please click on the "Contact DCFoodTours" link.
DC Metro Food Tours
We will open your mind and palette to the sights, sounds and flavors that Washington DC has to offer. The area best known for its museums and moments is also full of exciting, historic neighborhoods that offer a wide range of cuisine that will change your expectations of our nation’s capital.